Simple and Cheap Ways to Energize Young Women in Your Community
Got more energy than
cash? Fear not—just because you’re not rolling in it
doesn’t mean you can’t bring it! The following are some
suggestions for effective, budget-conscious activism:
The first step is to
get your foot in the door and meet other activists. Start by
volunteering or interning at a local pro-choice/ reproductive justice organization. If you
don’t have a local pro-choice community group, try a local
community-based organization that works on related issues such as
poverty, healthcare or youth issues. And get your friends involved
too. It will make your work more fun, and increase youth
representation. For ideas about where to volunteer and a list of opportunities in your area, check out PEP's internship guide. Once the people at the organization know you, you can
offer to help them better reach and energize young women for choice.
Here are some ideas:
- Conduct a survey
among your peers to learn how much they know about reproductive
health and rights. Submit the results of your survey to your
organization’s newsletter to give a snapshot of what young
people in your community know. Then work on what they don’t.
- Coordinate a
campaign in your neighborhood using PEP’s messages. Work
with local organizations to
advertise reproductive health services or a reproductive health
program just for young people.
- Launch a mentoring
program for young people. In college? Mentor a high school
student. In high school? Mentor a junior high school student. Teach
other young people why reproductive rights are important to you.
- Launch a youth
advisory board with your friends. Have the board give input about
your local organization’s programs and decisions and ensure
that young women’s voices are heard.
- Use your skills and
interests to fundraise for your local choice group. Are you
creative? Have a spoken word, poetry or hip-hop night as a benefit.
Sell crafts at your school and donate the proceeds to your local
reproductive justice or community-based organization. Like to party? Work with
your friends to organize a party to raise money. Are you an
athlete? Collect sponsorships for a marathon or other event.
- Voice your opinion
about anti-choice legislation: write a letter to your local newspaper
or circulate a petition at your school.
- Have a blog or website?
Link to pro-choice and reproductive justice websites.
- Set aside $5 a
month to donate to a reproductive justice organization.
- If you’re 18 or
over, vote for pro-choice candidates.
- Practice safer
sex and family planning, and encourage your peers to do the same.
Talk about it! Do you know where to go to get the morning after pill? Tell five friends.
- If you are a member of
a religious community, start a conversation about reproductive
rights and spirituality.
- Escort at a local
clinic. Make a commitment with your friends to escort once a week
or month. You will be working on the ‘front lines’ to
help women get the services they need.
- Use pro-choice
physicians and pharmacists. Survey your local pharmacies to see
if they distribute emergency contraception (the morning after pill). If they don’t, work
with your local pro-choice organization to create petitions or a
letter writing campaign, and place op-eds in local newspapers
publicizing the importance of having quick, convenient access to emergency contraception.
- Let your friends
know you support reproductive justice. Display PEP’s messages in your
room, on your campus, and in your neighborhood.
- Host a
screening/discussion of The Cider House Rules, Sex and the
City’s “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” episode or a documentary
like The Fragile Promise of Choice.
- Subscribe to
your local pro-choice organization’s newsletter. When you’re
done reading it, pass it on!
For more information
about how to get started on your own or how to contact your local
pro-choice organization, or if you would like to share any creative
ideas about other ways that young people can speak out for reproductive justice,
contact PEP at 888-253-CHOICE or [email protected]